XGAMES steals the show...more...
The Winter X Games have rolled out of Aspen as well as the influx of "young" crowds that came with it.
It's hard to imagine there was actually a time when Aspen Ski Company did not allow snowboarding on its mountains. How times have changed as has Aspen for the good. It's got to be rewarding as a host to show the world such a diverse group of extreme talent while taking some of the best of the ski world and merging it with music and art into an entertainment mecca.
With the cooperation of ESPN, Aspen Ski Company and a large list of major sponsors it has become yet another 5 star event hosted at Aspen's smallest mountain, Buttermilk.
Winter XGames started in 1997 at Big Bear Lake in California, following that for the next two years Winter X was held at Crested Butte, Colorado until the event moved east to Mount Snow for two years and then came West again in 2002 where it has been hosted at Buttermilk ever since, and currently contracted to be through 2019.
Through the years there have been events added and some taken away, the core remains skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling. XGames has become so much more than a competition as XGames Winter has become a festival with a competitive twist and a city much as Coachella, Bonaroo and other high-end festivals have become.
It is great to see the local talent who grew up on Aspen's slopes and were a part of AVSC (Aspen Valley Ski/Snowboard Club) growing up participating and often times medaling. It is great to see the local kids embracing the event and wanting to immerse themselves in it. How great is it when our twelve year old daughter says "hey, me and my friends are going to head over to the XGames and watch tonight", most twelve year old kids not living in a ski town would want to go hang out at a mall or movie but our kids embrace everything Aspen has to offer.
The music has grown over the years with national acts every night, playing not only at the venue but also at Belly Up and other places around town. The offsite parties are huge and no doubt the Sky and Bootsy Bellows are raging far into the night. Everybody is having fun and I only wish that some people would look at the weather forecast and dress appropriately so as not to run around in leggings, sneakers, no jacket or hat when temps are bottoming out at minus 5 as it only puts unneeded demand on the medical staff.
Kudos to Ski Co for orchestrating the event, to the many volunteers who make this event happen, Ski Patrol, the law enforcement that keeps all on the up and up for an interesting four days and for the well thought out transportation plan that moves everybody to and fro, I never knew Intercept Lot was so large and yet every bus and check-in station moved seamlessly without a hitch.
For some now a sigh of relief that XGames is over, but only to get ready for the next slew of events with the "Big One" - World Cup - looming in the very near future.